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This page brings you the latest bird and wildlife sightings from Chew Valley Lake (and occasionally elsewhere). Every effort is made to keep the information on this page accurate, but it's quite possible that the odd stringy record slips in every now and then.
The first Wood Sandpiper of the autumn was in Villice Bay today, with six Green Sandpipers and three or four Common Sandpipers.
The drake Ferruginous Duck was again in Stratford Bay (looks as though it may be flightless now) - also at least one Wigeon and an Oystercatcher there.
One Black-tailed Godwit was at Bernard King hide, whilst in Villice Bay there were three Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers.  The Egyptian Goose was again on the main dam by the No.1 Picnic Site, and the fist two Wigeon of the autumn have appeared in Stratford Bay.
More of the same; the moulting drake Ferruginous Duck was still with the duck flock in Stratford Bay.  The only other bird of note was a Common Tern which flew west over Stratford hide this evening.
The drake Ferruginous Duck was in Stratford Bay all day, as was a single Dunlin. Other birds in Villice Bay included seven Green Sandpipers, five Common Sandpipers, three Redshank, one juvenile Ringed Plover and a Hobby.
Birds in Villice Bay today: one Common Tern, five Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers, plus one Yellow Wagtail.
Still a few birds in Villice Bay this morning - two Common Sandpipers, six Green Sandpipers and an Oystercatcher, with two more Common Sandpipers, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and two Whimbrel (south) at Bernard King hide, with a third Whimbrel south later in the day (they hardly ever land in the autumn!)

Moths of note included single Small Wainscot, Ypsolopha sylvella, Yponomeuta plumbella and Rush Veneer.
Yellow-legged Gull  Larus michahellis
Copyright Rich Andrews
     Yellow-legged Gull  20th July 2003
Small Wainscot  Photedes pygmina
Copyright Rich Andrews
      Small Wainscot  20th July 2003
Most of the good birds were in Villice Bay today - eight Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers, two Little Ringed Plovers, a Snipe and a Common Tern. There were 1578 Coot in Stratford Bay this afternoon.

One Painted Lady was on the wing on The Parkland.
Long-tailed Duck  Clangula hyemalis
Copyright Rich Andrews
Long-tailed Duck  19th July 2003
The female Long-tailed Duck was still present on No.3 this afternoon, along with an eclipse (and flightless) drake Ring-necked Duck, 20 Common Sandpipers and one Oystercatcher.

BLAGDON: Of note the other drake Ring-necked Duck was still present this afternoon.
BARROW TANKS: An unprecedented summer record of a female Long-tailed Duck on No.2 tank this afternoon.
A few birds of note on Herriott's Pool today: one Black-tailed Godwit, one Whimbrel (in flight), and nine Sand Martins.
A little less action today - highlights were the Red-crested Pochard still, three Yellow-legged Gulls, a Dunlin, an Oystercatcher, four Common Sandpipers, three Green Sandpipers, and the first Yellow Wagtail of the autumn.

LORD'S WOOD: Five miles from Chew, White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillaries are now on the wing at ST 635632.
The Great White Egret was still present on Moreton Point at 05:35 this morning; it then flew east and appeared to land on the east shore, but a subsequent search proved fruitless.  A Bearded Tit was seen in the main reedbed (from Herriott's) again today - it remains to be seen whether or not we'll be hearing the pinging of baby Beardies in the next few weeks.  Other birds included at least ten Common Sandpipers, two Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover, a Hobby, two Kingfishers, the female Red-crested Pochard and two Yellow-legged Gulls.

Purple Hairstreaks are now on the wing on The Parkland; as usual the best place to look is in the treetops from the council car park by the B3114.  This year viewing is excellent as a huge spoil heap in the car park has effectively raised the ground to tree-height. Three Red Foxes (East Shore, Villice and Moreton) was a noteworthy count.  The lakeside meadows are particularly good at the moment - in full flower and stiff with butterflies and day-flying moths.
A nice surprise when opening the shutters of Stratford hide this evening.....
Great White Egret  Ardea alba
Copyright Rich Andrews Great White Egret  Ardea alba
Copyright Rich Andrews
Great White Egret  11th July 2003

PORTISHEAD: Some decent migrant moth action on the estuary coast - a Small Marbled was trapped near Portishead last night.
Highlight today was the reappearance of a Bittern, seen in flight at Sutton Wick.  A few more waders included three Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover in Villice Bay.  A brood of 15 Tufted Ducks has emerged on Herriott's Pool - although to be precise, two of them are Pochard chicks!
The only bird of note reported today was the drake Ferruginous Duck on Herriott's Pool.
A quiet day.  The male Greater Scaup was still at Herriott's End this morning; other birds of note were two adult Yellow-legged Gulls, one Common Sandpiper, four Green Sandpipers, a Common Tern, twelve Sand Martins and the female Red-crested Pochard still.  A recently-fledged Cetti's Warbler showed well by BK hide this morning.

Moths: two Dark Sword-grass were trapped overnight, but the real surprise was three True Lover's Knot (a heather-feeding species) - not an entirely expected moth to find in a reedbed!  The nearest naturally-occurring foodplant is several miles away on the Mendips.  A Painted Lady was seen on the Bittern Trail, and the two Red Foxes were still on East Shore.

SEVERN BEACH:  A good haul of locally scarce insects at the Orchard Pools today (ST 543839) - three Red-veined Darters, an Essex Skipper and a Six-belted Clearwing.  Click here for details at Severnside Birds.
The only species of note today were the male Ferruginous Duck on Herriott's Pool early this morning (which is proving to be the best time of day to see it) and the Greater Scaup, seven Greylags and a Kingfisher in Stratford Bay.

An actinic moth trap on the east shore overnight produced 81 moths of 29 species; highlights being two Silky Wainscots, five Southern Wainscots and six Round-winged Muslins.  The only migrant species found today were two Silver Y and a Rush Veneer in the trap this morning, and four Plutella xylostella and three Silver Y on the Parkland.  A Painted Lady larva was also found at Nunnery Point, whilst nearby, the first Ruddy Darters of the year are on the wing in Villice Bay.

The fleabane at Nunnery Point and Villice Bay produced a couple of micromoth specialities this evening - Digitivalva pulicariae and the plume Oidematophorus lithodactyla.
Silky Wainscot  Chilodes maritimus
Copyright Rich Andrews
Silky Wainscot  5th July 2003
A male Greater Scaup appeared amongst the Tufted Ducks in Stratford Bay today; however, highlight was a flock of 33 Black-tailed Godwits on Herriott's Pool this evening - one of the largest flocks seen at the lake (and all summer plumage adults, too).  They flew off south at 20:30.  Also on the pool were 49 Lapwings (including the first arriving juveniles of the year) and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.
Little of note reported today, best bird being the first Mediterranean Gull of the autumn (a second-summer on Herriott's Pool).  There should be a few more passing through in the next month or two.  Two Sand Martins were also present.
Midweek, and only a few birders visiting the lake, though it seems the early wader passage is continuing - ten Black-tailed Godwits were at Herriott's Pool briefly this afternoon.  As usual, all were islandica.